operations on the Yazoo, and trusting that neither myself nor any other journalist may again be so unfortunate in the collection of data for a published record, I remain, respectfully, yours.
THOS. W. KNOX,
Correspondent New York Herald.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
February 1, 1863.
General F. P. BLAIR:
SIR: Knox, the correspondent of the New York Herald, was brought into my presence last night, and in the resence of Dr. McMillan, Colonel T. Kilby Smith, Major Hammond and Captain Dayton, and no others I had his printed assertions of matters on the Yazoo read to him and in variably he gave you as authority for most of his general and specific assertions. Though I cannot believe him after your specific denial to me in the presence of Generals Steele and Stuart, yet his reiterated assertions and reference to you as his authority for a statement of facts warrant me in calling on you for answers to specific questions.
Did you not know that I was ordered to leave Memphis December 18. in concert with other large armies and the fleet of gunboats?
Was there any delay in embarking or reaching the point of attack that I could have prevented?
Did I not on December 23 furnish division commanders general instructions as specific as the case then admitted?
Did i not daily during the movement make an order of the day and sent it to division commanders explaining the movements of the day?
Was it not difficult, of not impossible, on our reaching the place of disembarkation to get information of the exact condition of country lying between it and Vicksburg, and had we not to reconnoiter the bayou under very close fire?
Did your or do you know anything of the ground in front of A. J. Smith's division?
Did your or do you know anything of the ground in front of Morgan L. Smith's position?
Do you not know that the best point of assault was at Morgan's position?
Was not Morgan there with his tree brigades at the time of the assault?
Were not your brigade and Thayer's on the spot with orders and prepared to support Morgan in the assault?
Was not General Hovey's brigade known to be close at hand?
Did not hese six brigades, or two division, compose more than half of my command?
Did you at any time before, at the time, or after advise any other mode or plan of attacks?
Did you not and do you not approve the withdrawal of my forces from Yazoo Island?
Were not my orders specific that nothing should be left behind except a few barrels pork and some hard bread, which your commissary reported to me in person could not be moved back?
Do you know of a gun, a cartridge, ax, spade, wagon or anything left behind but the pork and bread referred to, and what was its quantity?